Stranger Danger (Winter 1236)

As snow gathers in the mountains of Andorra and most of the covenant has set off to the city of brass, a woman in her mid 20s, with clothes too thin for the weather bundled tight around, stumbles to the covenant door with her face stricken by a combination of fear and grief. When the door is answered she states "My son has been stolen! Please, I need help!"

If I may, for this opening scene, can I play a character often mentioned yet never seen? Father Clemente Gomez, priest, retired Templar, old buddy of the old magi from the old days, and a random sorta NPC.
[color=blue]What is the matter child? How may I help you?

In certain ways that will be perfect...

"My son, he was abducted in the streets. Some withered man in a black cloak. The other children saw him, but he grabbed my son and left."

[color=blue]Dear God! Where from? The village of Arans below I presume? Come in and get warm! Tell me more of what happened.

"I know only what the children have told me. My son, Phillipe, was playing ball with the other boys. There was some kind of argument about whether the ball was out or good, my son, he has a temper, and sometimes the other children are mean to him because of me, and his birth. He doesn't handle his anger well, there was a fight, then suddenly this tall, thin, withered man appears, and places his hand on my son's shoulder, like he is trying to stop the fight. Then suddenly he grabs my son, shoves him in a bag, and walks away. The children were shocked, then they ran to come tell me. I think they were afraid to tell me, most parents don't want them to talk to me." She lowers her eyes gradually in shame as she relates the story.

Clemente has some familiarity with the Order, and I think he thinks he knows what happened.
Does he get any strange vibe off of her?
[color=blue]Follow me. He takes her to Carmen and the other magi present (Vocis & Antoine I thinl), and asks her to trtell her tale. I think Fleur and Acutus are available if it is a council, and maybe Fleur can shiield the woman from the Gifts with her Parma?

Fleur will come out and meet the woman to shield her and escort her in if we feel the need to call a full council for this, or at least a council of those present...

Vocis is present and doesn't see a need to gather everyone. Pere and Acutus aren't particularly good choices to soothe a heartbroken mother (to Vocis's mind, anyway). Fleur will suffice.

Madam, I am Master Vocis. Father Clemente tells me your son has been taken. I have questions for you, but first I want you to know that I am a father and a grandfather. The loss of a child is not something I take lightly. I will do what I can to assist you. Now, can you tell me more about your situation? Father Clemente mentioned that the other villagers are often unkind to you and your son. Why is that?

"I am a single mother, never married. Sometimes the men of the village are very nice to me, for a short while. This of course upsets the women of the village. There is no way that I could expect to find a husband now, and without one have no other way to support myself, and my son."

Carmen gives a serious and sorrowful glance to Vocis and Fleur. Then she says in Latin " I think that what has happened is that we had a gifted child living right under our noses, and he has been taken as an apprentice by another magus.
Normally I would just let it go. This is the way of Hermetic Culture. But this guy, whoever this other magus is, he came onto the property of our covenant unannounce and uninvited. Not much we can do about that without looking unhospitible. But what we can do is leverage what influence we have to convince him to return the child. As Pere said, every man has his price. And worse case scenario, Fleur is Bonisagus and can appropriate the child.
Though she is not really ready to start teaching. But we can work out the details latter. Still, we are responsible for protecting Arans and we cannot just let this slide."

"If he has opened the child, I can claim the child, teach him for a while perhaps, especially magic theory, and then gift him to another magus of our covenant. If we can rescue him before he is opened however, then we have no issues at all."

Vocis gives both magae an irritated look, then says in Latin Shall we get the rest of the details from this woman before we begin speaking over her head? I share your assumptions, but this discussion can wait.

He turns back to the woman and says Forgive me, Madam. We speak a great deal of Latin here and tend to lapse into it out of habit. What can you tell me of the boy's father? And has the child exhibited any unusual behavior?

((OOC: Silveroak, please specify which of you is talking when you post. :wink: ))

((OOC: yes, Silveroak. I know you prefer usiong proper punctuation and do not favor colored speech text. But it is a standard convention of this medium. Mainly for clarification and avoiding confusion.))
Anyway, Carmen nods in agreement and speaks in Catalan. I apologize miss. And I failed to catch your name. The people of Arans are familiar with us and who we are, so I presume the same of you. And I have a feeling this is the work of an outside wizard poking aroun uninvited. Information about the child's father would be helpful. But more importantly, I would like to know more about the man who abducted your son. What did he look like, Any distinguishing physical features or items of clothing? Any symbols or atrifacts that we can use to deduce his identity?

The woman takes a breath "I am uncertain who the father is, he could well be one of the many men who come from your covenant carrying messages, as for unusual behavior I suppose some, but I assume that is because of how the other children treat him, which is due to my shame, not his. As to his abductor I know only what the other children told me, a withered man dressed all in black carrying a canvas bag on his back. Someone told me it would help to bring this." The woman presents you with a folded shirt "It is his nightshirt, they thought you could track him with it. My son's, not the man in black."

Carme looks to the other magi present and asks Who is our resident scrying specialist?

(ooh, ooh, I know 8) )

Fleur answers "I'm not certain who is here right now, or what specializations they might have."

First in Latin. A more drastic option is to use the shirt as an Arcane Connection to teleport directly to the kid. Then either swipe him or confront this other magus and work out a deal.
Then in Catalan. I apologize madam. I had to use wizard speech to explain my idea in magical terms. Eh? So maybe we can do something, but we will need to discuss it at length first.

The woman bows her head "Shall I wait outside while you discuss this?"
Fleur responds in Latin to the question "I'm pretty decent with corpus, but anything I could do would be improvised, and I'm simply not that good"

With Solomon away investigating the City of Brass, our scrying options are limited. That is why I proposed Teleporting. Seven League Stride or Leap of Homcoming. I know both. I think Vocis knows one or both of those as well.
I could snatch the kid and fly him home, and easily fight off any confrontation. There is a question of legality though. And of ethics. If things are as I suspect, then what right do we have to interfere? And I worry about teleporting straight into a protected sanctum. That is not illegal, but neither is any death trap or security spell he may have. And if he opened the Arts, we are depriving him of magical resources.
I think the best option is to find this guy, communicate with him, and strike a deal.